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Iraq war probe resumes, Blix to give evidence

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 18:38

London: Britain`s Iraq war inquiry resumed on Tuesday after suspending its hearings for general elections,
with former UN inspector Hans Blix among those to give
testimony in the coming weeks.

As the probe -- which took evidence from ex-premier Tony
Blair earlier in the year -- got underway once again, it
emerged it has questioned General David Petraeus, the top US
commander for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blix is among a string of senior military and political
officials called to appear before the five-member panel
investigating Britain`s role in the 2003 invasion and
subsequent conflict.

He has been highly critical of the invasion, which US and
British authorities justified on the basis that Saddam Hussein
had weapons of mass destruction. None were ever found.

Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of domestic
security service MI5, will also appear before the inquiry in
London, as will former armed forces chiefs General Mike
Jackson and Richard Dannatt.

The inquiry was launched last July, following the
withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, and heard from former
premiers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in its first round of
hearings.

It resumed taking testimony today with witnesses
including Douglas Brand, chief police adviser to Iraq`s
interior ministry from 2003-2004, and Sir John Holmes,
Britain`s ambassador to Paris from 2001-2007.

The schedule for testimony over the next two weeks was
published on the inquiry`s website, although no date has yet
been given for Blix`s appearance.

During the break the inquiry panel travelled to France
and the United States to quiz key players. These included
Petraeus, who many in Washington credit with almost
single-handedly turning around the Iraq war, officials said on Tuesday.

The probe, led by former top civil servant Sir John
Chilcot, is due to report by the end of the year.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 18:38

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